Citizenship and Identity in Italy and the United States: Contestations and Struggles
This international conference brings together scholars from the United States, Canada, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, and Italy to analyze and debate the meaning of citizenship and identity in Italy and the United States from the first movements for Italian nationhood in the early nineteenth century and the American Civil War in the mid-nineteenth century to today. In so doing, the speakers will trace the tributaries that have produced contemporary contested definitions of citizenship. The presentations will address the evolving nature of Italian citizenship and the forces of nationalism, colonialism, racism, dictatorship, and immigration that have produced it in the last two hundred years.
Moving chronologically from the Risorgimento and the Civil War to the present, the presentations will assess how race, national origin, religion, colonial subjecthood, and refugee status have forced reconsiderations of the concept of who is a citizen and what is it to be Italian or what it is to be American. They will engage questions including, what does a modern Italian identity look like? Italy has always been a mixture of cultures and peoples, a crossroads. How does that sense of mixture shape the meaning of citizenship in Italy? What is the connection between the struggles of Afro-Italians for citizenship and migrants crossing the Mediterranean? How do the experiences of ethnic and linguistic nationalism in the nineteenth century shape today’s battles over inclusion? Did colonialism and empire fragment or unify Italian identity and demands for citizenship? Who did Fascism consider a citizen, and who did it exclude? What is the relationship between legal citizenship and a sense of belonging?
The presentations will be given in English.
This event, to be presented in person at the Academy as well as on Zoom, is free and open to the public.
Watch the Proceedings
The Academy has created a playlist on its YouTube channel that gathers videos of every lecture and panel from Citizenship and Identity in Italy and the United States.
Thursday, February 9
Mark Robbins (1997 Fellow), President and CEO, American Academy in Rome
Marla Stone (1996 Fellow), Andrew W. Mellon Humanities Professor, American Academy in Rome
Stephanie Malia Hom (2011 Fellow), University of California, Santa Barbara
Villages, Camps, and Papers: On the Dynamics of Citizenship in Italy
Panel I – Contemporary Struggles over Race, Gender, and Citizenship
Chair: Carmen Belmonte (2019 Italian Fellow), Università degli Studi Roma Tre
Angelica Pesarini, University of Toronto
A Woman, a Mother, a Christian: Biopolitics of Race and Gender in the Recent Italian Political Discourse
Silvana Patriarca, Fordham University
The Unsustainable Imaginary of the (White) Nation in Contemporary Italy
John Torpey, Graduate Center, City University of New York
From Civil Rights to Contemporary Citizenship: Immigration, Ethnoracial Difference, and Inequality in Today’s America
Panel II – Defining the Nation and the Citizen under Fascism
Chair: Preeti Chopra (2023 Fellow), University of Wisconsin, Madison
Hannah Malone, University of Groningen and Dutch Historical Institute
Building Italian Identity in Fascist Ossuaries of the First World War
Roberta Pergher, Indiana University Bloomington
The Duce, Diaspora, and Dual Nationality: The Contours of Citizenship under Fascism (1926–1933)
Brenda E. Stevenson, University of California, Los Angeles, and Oxford University
Race and Erasure: A Case Study of Diverse Womanhood in the US
Friday, February 10
Aliza Wong, Director, American Academy in Rome
Pamela Ballinger (2002 Fellow, 2011 Affiliated Fellow), University of Michigan
Thinking with Citizenship in Italy Past and Present: Race, Empire, and Diaspora
Panel III: Italian Colonialism and Contested Citizenship
Chair: Stefano D’Amico, Texas Tech University
Daniela Luigia Caglioti, University of Naples Federico II
Tensions, Conflicts, and the Rediscovery of Italianness: The Expulsion of “Italian” Citizens from the Ottoman Empire during the Italo-Turkish War (1911–1912)
Nicola Camilleri, University of Padua and Center for Advanced Studies Southeast Europe, University of Rijeka
Shades of Citizenship in the Italian Colonial Empire
Simona Berhe, University of Bologna
Citizenship in the Colonial Space: The Case of Libya under Italian Occupation
Panel IV: Colonial and Postcolonial Notions of Citizenship
Chair: Lorenzo Benadusi, Università degli Studi Roma Tre
Sabina Donati, Graduate Institute of International Studies and Université de Genève
Boundaries of Citizenship and Italianità: “Ins,” “Outs,” and “Inbetweens” in Italy’s African Colonies, 1919–1939
Fiori Berhane (2020 Fellow), University of Southern California
Histories and Presents of Postcolonial and Internationalist Solidarities between the Eritrean Liberation Movement and the Italian Left in the 1970s
Michael Vorenberg, Brown University
Reconstruction as Risorgimento: The Creation and Limits of US National Citizenship in the Long Nineteenth Century
Followed by a reception.
Space in the AAR Lecture Room is limited, and seats are available on a first-come, first-served basis. If you plan to attend an event with a group of over six guests or students, please inform events [at] aarome.org (events[at]aarome[dot]org) with at least 48 hours prior notice so that special arrangements can be made.
For access to the Academy, guests will be asked to show a valid photo ID. Backpacks and luggage with dimensions larger than 40 x 35 x 15 cm (16 x 14 x 6 in.) are not permitted on the property. There are no locker facilities available.
Thursday, February 9, 2023 11:00 AM–7:00 PM
Friday, February 10, 2023 11:00 AM–7:00 PM